Phones in Korea

The transition to Korea went fairly easy but getting my iPhone hooked up was far more difficult than I was anticipating. I was foresighted enough to pay for unlocked iPhones last year when we moved to the U.S. and I’d hoped that it would be as easy as walking into a shop and signing up. I should have known that there would be more to it when I learned that it is more or less impossible to buy a SIM in Japan to put in your own phone. Thankfully it wasn’t that bad here but it took a few weeks to find the time to get everything worked out.

We had to first register our handsets physically with the networks in Korea. I can’t say I entirely understand what that means even though I was successful in getting a pre-paid card installed in mine before my family arrived. Of course, there are only certain shops that are capable of handling unlocking and registration and it just wasn’t easy to get there during working hours. My frustrations mounted when my first month of pre-paid expired and I went to the local phone shop to switch over to a monthly data plan. Apparently the network I was initially registered with was incompatible with the monthly data plan I intended to register for, so of course I had to get it reregistered. At this point, my wife had moved here and thankfully she was able to take care of getting our phones set up and ready.

I guess this is a pretty anti-climatic story but the long story short is that it IS possible to get a U.S. unlocked iPhone set up here, it just takes some time during normal business hours. Truth be told, if I wasn’t working, I’d have been able to get it straightened out a lot faster.

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